Brunch On The Go A little bit of Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 on the Northwest side of Tampa. * Today we were on a mission and trying our best to adhere to the 🌎 of Social Distancing 🗨
We’re rollin and I’m talking about how hungry I am and I spot La Bahia Bakery as I have probably 30 times driving in the area. We thought about stopping several times but never did, simply because we were tired of being fooled. Yes, a lot times you will visit an establishment expecting to receive say, Puertorican Cuisine and you are sadly disappointed. I’m happy to say, we felt like we were back on the Island. The food looked good and the sweets looked even better. The ladies at the counter were courteous so we were anxious to see if the eats would past the test.
I’m a bacalao connoisseur and my eyes could not look past it. I was offered a taste test and I can honestly say I would serve it in place of my own. It was fresh, full of flavour & thick like I like it!
The Pan Sabao (light, airy & sweet bread of Puerto Rico) was fresh! I could have just eaten it right out of the bag. I was surprised when we saw the Canoas Con Carne Molida (sweet plantains opened like a canoe and filled with seasoned ground beef & topped with cheese).
Our Cafe Con Leche was good, you add your own sugar. They’re using op grade equipment! I did pick up the last 4 cookies and cream cupcakes to take home to my daughters and the youngest one’s girlfriends. They were munching and talking about the layers of chocolate. I would take that as a sign of approval!
Take your family for breakfast, lunch and an early dinner. We agreed, that this fairly new establishment is now apart of neighborhood go-to resturant list. As long as they keep the quality of food and service like it is, they can only get better!
I had lunch with my daughter on Friday and it was great to spend time with her at Kaleisia Tea Lounge. I was impressed with the place she choose to have tea. As we entered it seemed inviting and the people were helpful with kind smiles. I loved their “I ❤Tea” shirts!
We both enjoyed Asian Noodles that were combined with red peppers, lemongrass seasoned tofu and a touch of cilantro. I of course spiced mine up a bit with chili paste. The dish itself was dainty and colorful in the big off-white bowls they were presented to our table in.
My daughter had her favorite, Vietnamese Coffee in the “TEAtanic” size. Vietnamese coffee is coffee mixed with condensed milk. I am not sure what blend this tea house uses but those that we’ve had in the past are made with Cafe Du Monde Chicory Coffee and the condensed milk. We thought their blend was very nice.
I had the Dirty Chai, which is a mixture of both tea and coffee. This milky drink was very smooth and satisfying if you are a tea drinker who occasionally likes to have coffee like me. Our drinks came in these huge mason jars that made us anxious for our first sips!!! We were happy with our choices as we chatted away. Oh and you must to try the Matcha cookies, were shaped like stars and some I’m always day dreaming this was special to me. The cookies had a nice matcha flavor and were covered in bakers sugar. The cookie had a semi hard exterior that crumbled in your mouth.
There is a Tatami-esque room with Shoji doors that transported my daughter back to a Japanese Tea House she’d visited in Japan last summer. She was very comfortable and in her element during oura time at the Kaleisia Tea Lounge.
We did see the owner, she assisted us with the reward card for our drinks. She has a beautiful smile and a calm aura surrounding her.
Kaleisia Tea Lounge is a lovely tea house that we will be visiting again.
We took our aunt and uncle visiting from Indiana to The Fish House for their anniversary dinner. My aunt loves the blues and my uncle (originally from Miami but gone over 30 years) is a drummer, we’d heard of The Fish House having live blues and jazz so we were banking on a good time and it paid off!
The Fish House has live music on Fridays and Saturday’s in the BackRoom. The BackRoom is just that, a cozy room on the right side of the restaurant where you are pretty much up close and personal with the musicians while you dine and enjoy your party.
The restaurant is known for their seafood which was another reason I choose it to gather as my aunt loves fish and crab legs! We were seated immediately which was good, however I was both confused and surprised when I walked up to the hostess area and requested seating for a party of 4 and was asked if I had a reservation. Reason being is I called twice, once during the week and the day of our visit and was told that they did not take reservations on Saturdays but their were reserved signs on 2 of the tables… They just kind of dismissed my inquiry regarding the reserved tables when I questioned why I was told that I could not make a reservation.
Since no one in our party had dined there before we were both overwhelmed and excited about the menu. My aunt is allergic to tilapia so we needed to confirm how the seafood was cooked. She was a bit disappointed to learn that all of the fish was cooked in the same grease as she wanted to try the yellowtale snapper on the menu. She ended up going with grilled shrimp and I wanted to surprise her with a crabcake, however the waitress after putting in our order learned that the crabcake was also cooked in the same grease and fryer that tilapia was cooked in so she changed the order to a lobster tail but didn’t tell me. I really still don’t know how to feel about this, I just know she was trying to help me surprise my aunt and make her evening special.
The rest of the party had the following. Island conch fritters for an appetizer and a shrimp and rice entree for my uncle in which he said the conch fritters were made different from those he grew up having as they were more like cakes or patties versus the balls he had on this night. Marty had the golden fried sailors platter that included calamari, wild jumbo shrimp, sea scallops, mussels, and fish nuggets. Lightly floured and deep fried with coleslaw and tostones. I had the yellowtail snapper fillet with a caesar salad and grilled vegetables which consisted stringbeans, corn, and mushrooms from what I can remember.
We enjoyed our meal while listening to Motel Mel delight us with blues, R&B, jazz and soft rock. He was good and very engaging with the room (BackRoom). I can tell you that our table could sing and name just about every song. My uncle won the trivia (I bet you can’t name the group) that Motel Mel shouted out and he also wished my aunt and uncle a happy anniversary at our secret request.
Upon leaving, the lady in charged thanked us for coming and asked if we enjoyed ourselves.
Well.. Yes, we hit the nail on the head this night.
Summer break was right around the corner, it was so close that I could feel the heat on the heels of my feet. Summer starts for me in April. By that I mean, it’s already so hot to me that I am feeling like its summer in the middle of spring. We had our family meeting and the topic was what will you spend your summer doing. I’d already made an announcement three months prior to the end of the school year, letting my family know that everyone had to have a summer activity or I would pick an activity for them.
My daughter was and is already taking up coding, skateboarding, and an occasional neighborhood library reading challenge. I thought that we should tighten up on some of the activities she was already particpating in but I knew she would want to try something different so I was prepared to be frazzled. My tween decided to go to guitar camp. Can you believe it, I was actually going to be able to use the phrase “my kids in a band”.
Two years ago it was the Djembe drum. The Djembe drum is a small west african drum played in ceremonies. The drum makes beautiful sounds with a flick of the wrist or hitting the drum in a certain way. This summer she moved on to the guitar. The wants of a tween are forever changing but as a mother its my job to help her explore every avenue she possibly can. If you’ve ever thought of entering the mind of a 12 year-old, I would caution you to think twice before venturing down this long uncertain winding road. Let me tell you, my experience is lengthy as a mother of 2 beautiful young ladies but I’m still learning. It’s not easy following their logic, dreams or what they deem to be dramatic situations, but I have always considered it to be an honor to be apart of their journey.
In regards to taking up guitar, we had a choice of private one on one lessons or Guitar Camp where she would be amongst her peers and not feel singled out for every mistake made while strumming along to Work by Rhiana or Jealous by Nick Jonas. We choose Guitar Camp because by the end of the camp she will have made a friend or two, become more confident than she already is and will have actually played in “The” band. Either way by taking part in the camp she would be able to decide if playing the guitar would become a life long hobby or that Jimmy Hendricks couldn’t have possibly been her grandfather.
Summer has come and gone. I was dupped into buying a beautiful mahogany guitar, the stand and carrier. My tween has gone from guitar camp mania to I’ll practice tomorrow. Will tomorrow ever come? To be honest, I am proud of her accomplishment this summer, she tried something new and actually liked it. We got to see two great concerts and my baby is in a band!
It’s now time to have a family meeting and decide what the kiddos will be doing this school year. I am now attending FFA (Future Farmers of America) meetings and helping to get our Shih Tzu ready for the State Fair in February. I will continue to support my tween in all of her endeavours while making sure to drink my vegetable smoothy to gain enough energy to keep up. I will continue to check out our local libraries, parks and recreation centers for our next adventure. I am prepared to help my children make learning and exploring fun!